This is a blog in which I record my exciting adventures in Africa!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Ten things I hate about Ghana:
1. The heat. It never stops. The changing seasons have no meaning in Ghana. Summer is hot, Fall is hot, WInter is hot, Spring is hot. There are only two seasons, the hot and dry season, and, even worse, the hot and wet season.
2. The dust. In Ghana, there's hardly any grass, and a lot less pavement then in America. What do we have instead? Dirt. And this dirt doesn't stay nicely on the ground, but floats up and becomes dust. Add that to the exhaust that pours out of the old cars here, and I can't walk to the store with out getting dirty. The dust accumulates in the folds of my skin where my elbow bends, on my neck and wrists, and it sticks to where my clothes are sweaty. I have to scrub the arm pits of my white shirts for half an hour before some semblance of white appears.
3. Traffic. There are a lot of cars, and it is always surprising how efficiently they move and how few accidents there are, considering how few traffic lights there are. Besides, I'm riding a bike, so the amount of jammed cars doesn't affect my speed. My complaint? Most of the cars here are old, and most of the carburetors on them don't seem to be doing their jobs correctly any more. I can see the exhaust pipes shivering with the amount of black smoke they're pooring out, and I can taste the soot even beneath the handkerchief I tie around my mouth. I have never hated cars more.
4. Lights off. Some people mysteriously know before hand when its going to happen, but it usually takes me by surprise, right when I want to make some tea on my electric stove. The worst thing about lights off is that the fan doesn't work. You never know how much you need something until you miss it.
On a joyous note, the lights just came on after 48 straight hours of no electricity!
5. Lack of variety in the food. The only vegetables I've eaten for seven months have been tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, and these weird leaves called contumbri. They're okay, but I miss my green leafy's back home. Everyday I take rice and beans in some sort of combination, not that there are many, and also some other starchy food, yam, cassava or maize, that has been pounded in a squishy substance that you eat with your fingers. From lack of variety, I've learned to like eggs, something I haven't eaten since I was a little kid, but now can't live with out. More shocking, I've relaxed the rules of my vegetarianism and have been eating fish. Its not really so evil to chew some little silver fishies that local fisherman have brought in in their nets, I guess, but I'll stop when I get home.
6. Catcalls. This will never stop. No matter how long I stay here, I will never start looking more black. Here are the things I here, people have remarkably little imagination when it comes to inventing new things to yell at white people: 'obruni' 'Kwesi bruni' 'my friend' 'whiteman' 'bruni, where are you going? (everybody is always desperately curious as to where I am going)' 'Okwahen? (where are you going)' 'Welcome to Africa' 'bra bra (come come)' 'come come, I want to take you as a friend' 'give me _____' 'Dash me _____' It is different if I yelled 'blackman, blackman' at people back home, I suppose, but sometimes I'm not exactly sure why.
7. Ingratitude. Charles Lamb says this: 'The human species.... is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow, and the men who lend. .... The infinite superiority of the former, which I choose to designate the great race, is discernible in their figure, port, and a certain instinctive sovereignty. The latter are born degraded. "He shall serve his brethren." There is something in the air of one of this cast, lean and suspicious; contrasting with the open, trusting, generous manners of the other.'
All of my black friends here have much less money than me, and I like to do what I can to help them out. But just because I am white doesn't mean I am made of money, and I don't think I deserve to be classified as a spend thrift miser if I refuse to give out small 'dashes' left and right. But these sorts of demands are placed on me all the time by people who think I owe them something just because I am white, from asking to use my bicycle (and I should mention that a lot of people don't ask before they use it) to asking for some small money to chop. My mother, via her ATM card, is probably one of the more generous, trusting, charities working in Ghana, but sometimes the more I help people the more I feel degraded around them.
8.Stealing. As I hinted at above, there are relatively few people here who's sense of pride would prevent them from taking advantage of me. And unfortunately, a large subcategory of the above set do not stop before out and out thievery. All of my friends, white and black, have had something stolen from them. I've been robbed of my ATM card twice, once when it was picked from my pocket at a show, and once when it was taken by a boy who I had been good friends with for the three months previously. Worst, he had conned me into giving him my PIN number; I never suspected that an old friend would have designs on my bank account. He is indignant when I confront him over the matter, like I am making baseless accusations. I was amazed at how little my friendship was worth to this boy.
9. Teasing me when I act 'African'. A couple times I've been riding my bicycle and someone has yelled to me 'Who taught you to ride a bicycle?' I would have been confused by such a question if I hadn't heard different versions of it, said in the same tone of voice: 'Who taught you to wash your clothes?' 'Who taught you to eat Wakye?' Handwashing my clothes is certainly a skill I have acquired here in Ghana, but eating Wakye, which is just rice and beans, is something that even white people know how to do.
People seem to find it hilarious that I would act in any way similar to them. Its odd to them that I do anything else than sit in an airconditioned hotel room smoking cigarettes and eating french fries. I admit that my first attempts at washing my clothes were undoubtably amusing, but now, after seven months, I would just like to be taken seriously.
10. Poverty. If there was no poverty, just about all my other complaints about Ghana would disappear. I suppose the heat wouldn't go away, and the traffic would get worse, but besides that... Everyday I see and feel the affects of poverty, and it is hateful to me. I may be insensitive to homelessness in New York, but seeing polio stricken beggars, sitting in the dirt on their useless shriveled legs, will never stop bothering me. And there are a lot of polio stricken beggars here. They carry themselves with incredible dignity. They don't allow me to act self-conscious about my own good health and wealth when I'm talking to them. But the dignity of poverty is a myth, it is a pride that exists in spite of misery.
Most people here don't have the money to afford such a thing as privacy. They sleep together, eat together, work outside all day. And for all their lack of Western luxury, they seem to be happy, proud, and fulfilled in a way that I am just beginning to understand. I have no doubt that, without an environmental catastrophe or world war of some sort, Ghana will be a rich country in the next 50 or 100 years. The amount of foreign investment here is increasing apace, and I see more Hummers rolling around the streets here than I do in New York. The poverty of this nation was created by Western colonizers, and it will probably be eliminated by Western investors. But I'm afraid that with the westernization of Ghana will come more and more new things to be disatisfied about. I love watching DVD's on my laptop, I like eating tofu and ice cream, and I wouldn't deny anyone these and other pleasures. Poverty will probably go, but I hope the culture and the pride doesn't go with it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The clouds were dark and huge in the sky, an army of strange shaped floats that had taken up position across the sky. I hurried to the toilet. Already the first small drops were falling. When I emerged, it felt like I had stepped on to Mars. The air was dark and murky, and at first I wasn't sure why. A strange, portentious wind was blowing, whipping up the dirt and dust on the ground. Towering waves of dust rolled across the street, and I timed my runs to avoid getting hit. Even so, I could feel the grittiness of the swirling dust in my throat. Black leaves streamed and circled above my head like crazed bird, and a brown roller of the fine loose dust swept between some ladies and the big cast iron pots they were stirring. People were dashing to and fro, emerging from the dusty gloom and disappearing into it again.
I was just inside the school when the rain began to fall. It came hard and slanting, torrents of bullets from heaven. The dust settled back to earth, and soon little muddy streams were winding there way here and there. And the rain kept coming. A downpour lasts five or ten minutes before exhausting itself, but not this one. The power of the rain was unrelenting.
Its been a long time since it has rained in Ghana, not since October or thereabouts. You can imagine how welcome this weather is to me. I've sent up the rain prayer many times before, just for a relief from the never changing hot, dry sun. I didn't know how much I would miss bad weather. I went outside the shop that is always thumping reggae music, and I took off my shirt and danced for a little bit in the storm. The so long unfelt water made me feel free. Then I went back to the school, squelching my shoes in the mud and leaping across the ever widening streams.
Now I am sitting in the office typing this. It is still raining outside, but the clouds are giving up the last of their guts. The school is full of noisy childrens eating their lunch, and inside the office the young teachers banter over the cries of the kids and the music on my laptop. I am the butt of many jokes, but I can give even better than I take. It is nice to know that one is safe and warm and dry inside, even as the elements batter away at the walls. It is a powerful feeling of comfort, of snugness, of home.
I know its been a long time since I wrote a blog entry. I couldn't muster the energy for a long time. But I will start again. The wonder and the curiosity I used to feel about every aspect of life here has disappeared, to be replaced with the routine of my regular daily life here. I quickly felt at home in Ghana, and now Ghana feels like an old home to me. I know the people of Accra, know their lives and their minds, know the different places, markets neighborhoods. I am now focused most on my work at the Street Academy, and on my music lessons, and on accomplishing as much as I can before I leave at the end of June.
But, as I emerged from the school, the rain over, and breathed in the clean, rain freshened air, I felt that original wonder catching me up all over again. The water had cleaned the dirt and dust from the air, and it seemed to me as if the world was born all over again. The bright tropical colors shone bright again, the obscuring filth washed from the green palms and the blue sky and the rich brown skin of my countrymen. The Independence Arch, which had always been hazy in the distance, stood in clear and sharp relief. I knew then that Ghana was still my home, and it had many more stories left to tell.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Street Academy is a battered wood building at the back of the Accra Arts and Culture Center. To reach it, I have to bicycle through the rugged terrain of the Arts center, skirting stones and sewers and ignoring the calls from Rastas in their shops. 'Its free to look, its free to look! Why don't you mind me?' I don't know why they mind me, they see me everyday, they can't imagine that I'm here to shop.
Sometimes I have a cup of tea or koko (porridge) on a rock that overlooks the sea. Then its time for school. At 8:45 they ring an old dinner bell and the kids have to line up. Then, line by line they stream in to the school, to the beginner, intermediate, or advanced classroom.
These classrooms are actually just sections of the room partitioned by big wooden boards. Often, the teacher teaching the next class over is just as audible as I am. Even louder is the sound that one of these partitions makes when a bored kid pushes it over. When I was bored in class I doodled in my notebook, but these kids like something a little more dramatic.
Also, they like to fight. Words escalate to blows escalate to class room engulfing brawls remarkably quickly, and everyday I have to plunge through a thicket of flailing arms and pull the combatants apart. But if their tempers are quick, they subside as soon as the heat of the fight is lost, and if anyone child bears a grudge against another, I haven't noticed it. There is no bullying, for instance, and the girls can more than hold their own against the boys.
These are 'street kids', kids who, if they were not in this tuition-free school, would, likely as not, be out on the street hawking water or snacks to passersby. I'm sure many of them are out there as soon as class ends.
I teach the advanced class, and my pupils are a charming bunch. They vary widely in age, and there are even a couple boys older than I am, although, for lack of proper nutrition, they look younger.
There are a few trouble makers in my class, but I hold nothing against them. One reminds me of my old girlfriend, and the other is a singularly good dancer who just likes to try and steal the attention from me. When the secretary of the school, Mabel, is around, she flourishes her wood switch and administers a whistling blow, but when I am alone I have a harder time controlling them. The first time I tried to teach math, the class united in mockery of me, and one boy erased everything I wrote on the board. But I have been gaining their respect and losing the nerves and hesitancy I had when I first stood before them, and things are going more smoothly now.
I trade turns teaching with Mabel and a social worker there, but as I learn the ropes I'm taking over full responsibility for the class. Its actually pretty terrible that they don't have any real, qualified teachers in the school, and kind of ridiculous that they're floating ideas around for relocating and, get this, a school bus, when they don't even have any real teachers. There is one teacher last year, but he never showed up after the Christmas holidays.
I teach English and Maths in the morning. The classes are necessarily short, due to the short attention spans of these kids. Then I take most of the boys over to the soccer field for a while. I usually take part in the games, and my barefeet and ankles are white with dust before the match is up. I need to remember to bring my sneakers!
Or sometimes I sit in the shade of one of my Rasta friend's booths. We sit on a table, invisible behind the colorful pants he sells, and he teaches me phrases in Ga, the traditional language of the people of Accra. I just got a book on the language, and I'm hoping he will give me more formal lessons.
At twelve its time to for lunch, and I am given a plate of seasoned rice just like all the rest of the kids. I wash my hands and 'chop' with my fingers. I just love a country where its ok to eat with your fingers, screw silverware.
Then its time for reading. I write something on the board and the kids chant it out in unison as I tap each word with a pencil. Repeat, repeat, repeat, I hope they're learning something. More sucessful is when everybody has a copy of the book, 'literary treasures' (what garbage!), and we all sit outside and read it together. Thats fun for the kids and me, although I still have to get up and admister smacks and taps to the kids skipping to the wrong pages or punching their friends.
Then school is over. I am always tired by the end of classes, but I can go relax and unwind with my drumming lesson with Sammy. Drumming is very therapeutic!
More on the Street Academy soon.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I've just started drumming lessons with a new teacher. I spent a lot of time with Francis, the drumming instructor I've mentioned before who lives in Menkassim. He's an accomplished drummer, a cool guy, and he has shown me a lot of interesting things from Ghanaian culture, but he is just not a very good teacher. I actually just rented him a room for two years, at an expense of $60 to my mother. But I'm sure if you knew him, mom, you'd be glad I donated him your money. I'm going out to see his new digs on Friday, I will write how they are.
My new drumming teacher is named Sam. He's a big guy with small dreadlocks that he keeps buried under a knit hat. I ask him if it makes him hot to always be wearing that hat, but he won't listen to my words of wisdom. When we have a lesson, the sweat really pours off him. He drums hard!
He also drums amazingly. He's twenty two or twenty four now, and was part of a group that played in Amsterdam and a couple other european cities in 2001 and 2003, but thats all over now that the lead drummer in the group is dead. So he makes his money giving lessons to white people, and seems to be highly dependent upon a mysterious American known only as Ryan. Ryan's back in the states, now, but he still manages to wiggle his way in to a lot of conversations.
Lessons with Sam are good. There is a narrow alley behind a row of drum and curio shops, where all the Rastas hang out when they're not working in the shop. Well, we take up position behind Royalhouse shop number 59, me sitting on an upturned drum and him on a plastic carton of cooking oil, and bang out rhythms. We make a lot of noise, and people from the street are always coming to peer at us through the holes in the wall in to our alleyway. I'm getting good!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

There was a funeral in Menkassim this evening. We walked through the dark and twisting alleys of the town till we reached the football pitch. The chairs had been arranged to form a giant rectangle, as is customary in funerals and festivals. Somewhere in the middle of the wall of people was a man yelling in to a microphone, but he was barely audible in the general din. People talked, kids chanted and danced, groups of drummers serenaded those near them. We wandered around outside the box of people, which would periodically fill with dancing people, and then just as quickly empty, when the music went off and the man came back to his microphone.
We wandered around outside this gathering, talking to different kids. I did some lady chasing, too; I literally chased some teenage girls around the pitch as they ran screaming like little girls. I traded freestyle raps with a boy, he went first, then cut me off two lines in to my rap because I had cursed. He was obviously deeply offended, and it took much parley and apologies before I had consoled him.
The body was in a big well lit tent on one side of the field. It was surrounded by people, but they formed two corridors so one could walk inside past the body. As I walked inside, two wailing women ran outside past me. There was a casket inside, but the body wasn't in it. Instead, the ex-coach had been stood stiffly against a leaning board. He wore a suit and white gloves, and a soccer ball had been placed in his left hand.
Later, I asked Francis if it was customary for the bodies to be stood up like this. He answered that it depended on the job of the deceased. A football coach or a dancer would be standing. But a secretary, for instance, would sit.
The festival was to be held at the beach village of Asafa. We hired bicycles, put our supplies in two big bags, and took the dirt road that led to the ocean. A river crossed our path. We paid twenty cents to be poled across. The town was soon reached, and I immediately hopped in the ocean, despite the fact that the beach was littered with fresh turds. Later, a drunk elder upbraided me for swimming with out asking permission, and, later still, I took a glass of whisky with the chief himself. He was amiable enough, but told me that the next day he would not be present at the festivities because his wife had died earlier that year.
The festival continued apace, perhaps all the wilder for his absence. We were relaxing in our bamboo pole tent on the beach when we heard drumming and singing passing behind us. We found the parade continuing noisily through the town, marching and shouting to the beat of two boys playing cowbells. Out in front was a man in a traditional grass skirt, swinging a big flag around on a staff. And many of the men had guns which they fired in to the periodically.
We made our way through the village till we reached the center of town. The whole populace was out in force, and the scent of palm wine was heavy in the air. People were going crazy, everybody was dancing and shouting. Much of the dancing was overtly sexual, and, more odd, many of the men were dressed as women, wigs and dresses and even makeup. The parade continued, slowly and unevenly, here it would halt around a dancing pair, there a group of boys would go rush by in a frenzy. A group of drunk youth picked me up on their shoulders and charged towards an opening in the bush at the end of the street. They were shouted down before we reached there, though. Apparently, the rascals had been taking me to a place of bad spirits and evil magic.
The parade continued up and down the main road, gathering energy as it went along. There was a group feeling of utter mindlessness, we danced and chanted to the cowbell as we beat the road to dust until it was gathered like two inches of powdery snow around our feet. I was constantly in physical contact with someone, holding someone's hand or someones hips or feeling some anonymous fingers latch on to me. And the whole time we shouted rhthymic chants to the time of the ever clanging cowbell, I even introduced one that was a hit with the group around me, and we yelled in unison:'Obroni bye bye, obroni bye bye'. Well, the dirt was in our throats but the fire was in our hearts, and we went on and on.
The parade finally broke up and we went to rest on the grass of the football pitch. There many boys and girls snuggling up to each other in the dark, it reminded me of a park in New York. Then we paid 50 cents to enter the official festival dance party. Many kids were gathered around outside trying to get a peep of what was going on inside: a slab of concrete in the middle of dirt lot, and boys in baggy clothing dancing in front of a big wall of speakers. It wasn't Studio 59, but, man, these kids can really bust a move! I sat and watched for a while, and then it was back to our home on the beach. I took off all my clothes and threw myself in the ocean. The water muffled my ears and held my body, and my eyes wandered among the stars.
The next morning we woke to the sound of boys chattering outside our tent, waiting for us, well, for me, to get up. They watched as we packed our bags, took our leave of the queen mother, and mounted our bicyles for home. Thank you, people of Asafa!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Here's something I wrote a week ago.

Happy New Year all! Its a little late, I know, but people here are still celebrating. Or at least, the fireworks haven't all been used up, I hear them cracking through the window. Its no surprise, every street vendor in Accra started selling fireworks, in addition to what they usually sell, starting a few days before Christmas. I myself shot off a couple.
The first time was at the La Palm hotel, a super shwanky beach resort on the outskirts of town. Some boys I know from soccer were visiting as a part of a New York City all stars team. They played a few teams here, and did surprisingly well. They had one full eighty minute game against a team here, and of course they lost, because in this heat running for five minutes is hard work, let alone eighty. But then they played in a tournament with shorter games and beat everybody. Way to go, champs!
Well, that night I came over to their hotel with my Ghanaian friend. All the team coaches looked at me suspiciously, but we stayed up till they were all asleep and then we shot these fabulous fireworks off that would go way up with only the little spluttering fire at the tail to mark where they were, and then bang! party time. We spent the night goofing around in the hotel room, and I availed myself of their hot water and took an absolutely splendid feeling bath. It was a trip seeing kids from New York, they were all amazed that I was staying here by myself, and of course they could not hide the disdain in their voice when they asked 'why? why live in a country that doesn't have cable tv and big macs and closed sewers?' Well, its because I don't like cable tv and big macs and closed sewers! so there.
The next day was new years eve, so we headed to Osu, the westernized bit of Accra where one can buy pizza and expensive cocktails. But this night, the big main street was closed to traffic and was overrun with young people. They divided in to dancing clumps around where different djs had set up their speakers. Everybody was acting wild, and fireworks were being set up all over the place. We got these little ones that looked like soda cans, but when you lit the fuse they spun around throwing sparks on the ground, and then somehow improbably went airborne and exploded in brilliant pinks and purples. Well, the first two went up alright, but the next one went like a snake for the legs of some unsuspecting onlookers. Nobody was harmed.
We danced the night away, and then it was New Years Day. We traveled the to the town of Koforidua. I have written about the place where we stayed there in a previous blog entry, but let it suffice to say that the brothers who offered us accomodation live in a cloud of weed smoke. These guys, they're not done smoking their joint before they're rolling the next one. We visited the Boti falls, disappointingly free of water, due to the dry season, and then had a pleasant walk in the woods to visit the 'umbrella rock', a cool rock formation on top of a nice green hill in a land rolling with them. The girls continued on the next day to the north of Ghana, and I returned home to Accra.
What is home for me? In the last couple of weeks I have hopped from Mrs. Sackey's house to my drumming instructor's room in Mankessim to the Finnish girls apartment to here, the place where I am sitting now typing this entry on my laptop. 'Lets Stay Together' is playing on the laptop, 'oo baby, lleeeetttss, lets stay together, loving you whetheer, times are good or bad, happy or sad', and my roommate Amartey is humming along. He is a washed up Afro beat musician. He's done some really cool stuff, played in a psychedelic rock band in Ghana in the sixties, lived in America for many years playing with different bands he put together, but he ran in to money troubles and came back here a few years ago. Now he has two rooms in his family's place here in Accra, and has kindly offered me the use of a foam mat on which to lay my head. I intend to lay my head everynight for some months.
I met Amartey at Kokrobite, the happening beach resort that all-in-the-know Accra people frequent. He laughed at me a little while I was trying to learn coshka, a little instrument I must have mentioned before. It consists of two little balls with seeds inside, like shakers. But the balls are attached by a string, so not only do you make music shaking them, but also by knocking them together. You can put together some surprising combinations on this toy, and I am becoming quite proficient, as I carry them with me everywhere.
So, anyway, I went swimming and didn't see Amartey again, although, I swear, I had a funny feeling that Amartey could play a big role in my future. I bumped in to him again in Accra, and as we were near his house he invited me over. We talked for a while, I gave him my number, a month and a half later he called me and invited me up again. Well, his house is very near the Finnish girls house, so i came over, and I was actually thinking of asking him to let me live with him when he point blank asked me to. 'sure!'
Well, his apartment is cool because its full of musical instruments. He is good at all of them, can blow a sweet tune on the African flute and bang a hip shaking rhythm on his drum and knock some nice tones on his xylophone. And he has this weird African violin that he can just wail on! Well, I can't play any of them, but he lets me fool around on them, although he is too lazy to give me lessons.
His life ambition now is to get some gigs and get a nice white woman to marry, although both of these prospects seem suitably bleek at this point. He's an awesome musician and still in great shape, but hes getting on in years and I can only wish him the best. I'm going to help him the best I can, I tried to introduce to a German woman I'm friendly with, plus I think just the fact that I'm around motivates him to work harder. And he motivates me too, hes always tromping around the house by 7 am so I'm up to. And theres no tv or internet, so instead I'm washing my clothes and doing excercises and other productive things.
I bought Amartey a DVD with all the spiderman and X-men movies on it and hes just been going wild, watch and re-watching them all on my laptop.
And thats about the sum of it.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Writing from Menkassim.

Today Francis, my drum instructor, and I escorted Francis's aunt while she bought things at the Menkassim market. This means sitting on overturned wooden crates staring in to bowls full of weird living things while she argued over prices. The markets here are really something, there's not much concern for hygiene, and the women who work them all sell the same things, the same fabrics, the same tomatoes, the same dry and fly infested fishes. And theyre huge! I got lost and inadvertently bicyled through one in Accra, I'd never heard of it before and it took me at least twenty minutes to make it through. Thats bigger than Walmart, and the prices are better. Where else can you buy a plastic bag full of struggling crabs for twenty cents?
Then we went back to his Aunties place and watched music videos for a while, while Anita made yams and vegetarian stew for me. Anita is 25, francis's cousin, she just lives in the house, and she has placed me in the same tricky situation that Effua, Francis's senior sister has before her. She's cooked for me, shes flirted with me and joked about us getting married (although I think she already is, to a flimsy sort of fellow), and now I feel like perhaps I owe her something. We're friends, yes, but I just met you yesterday. What do you want from me? Effua lets me feel the pressure, she often asks me for money. And earlier this evening, when I was distributing small toys to the kids around francis's house, she was begging and fighting for them harder than anybody. I said : 'for kids, for kids' but even francis's mom looked me in the eye extended an open palm to me, waiting for it be filled. Do I really owe you something? Your family has been kind to me, Francis, they have anticipated my every want and also things I didn't want, but they made me feel uncomfortable when they mobbed me like that.
Another event this evening. I had a long debate with a christian missionary from w. virginia and her ghanaian friend, although the woman insisted it was not a 'debate'. Well, I enjoy this kind of thing, and so obviously did the woman, who positively twitched with anger as she told me about her inner peace. It ended with the two of them chanting over me, the man rambling on, the woman working herself up in to a state, 'please jesus, please jesus, please jesus, save him, please please please jesus jesus.' well, im not saved, so there!